NuTel's plan is to work with existing ISPs or entrepreneurs to set up wireless broadband in small and medium sized communities: The company will handle the backend--accounts and support--while the local firm will own the customer. The plan is to organize a separate company in each community with Nutel as the managing partner. NuTel will handle bringing in broadband and mounting gear; they'll use SkyPilot equipment. They want partners who are qualified to handle truck rolls.
NuTel appears to be also following SkyPilot's original dream of customer-mounted mesh networks. Rather than negotiate with cities and utilities, SkyPilot--when it was a mesh network builder that made its own equipment rather than solely an equipment vendor--wanted to use each customer's location as a possible extension to the mesh. Their equipment supports this, but the companies that deploy their gear haven't pursued this original dream to that extent. NuTel appears to want the right to mount mesh extenders on customer buildings and houses.
The company has 8 to 10 operating partners lined up, they say in this Wi-Fi Planet article, and think they could hit 200 by the end of 2007. They wouldn't compete with municipal networks; this is a final-mile play in broadband-scarce areas.
Pricing could run about $60 per month for 1.5 Mbps access and VoIP service or as little as $15 per month for a 200 Kbps dial-up replacement. Other rates will be available. They expect to work in a 14-state area, including parts of the Mississippi Valley, the upper Midwest, Texas, and California.
Their VoIP service isn't Internet-traversing telephony, but VoIP to their network operation center where traffic is segregated out. This is how some DSL and cable firms handle VoIP, too, providing a much more predictable quality of service from home to PSTN.